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  1. #1

    Help with my first domain turn?

    I started a Birthright campaign...

    After some initial adventures, the PCs have become landed and now rule the county of Romiene in the Barony of Dhoesone.

    Taking a look at the wiki, I see that Andien & Sons runs the Law and Guild holdings here and the Oaken Grove handles the Temples.

    My players are going to be taking their first Realm Turn in our next session, and we'll all be learning the game one turn at a time. I was wondering if there are any good examples out there of turn-by-turn play?

    Also, given the state of the province, would the player's first actions have to be to Contest the holdings in Romiene and bring them to heel? If they do, what becomes of Andien & Sons or the Oaken Grove? Do the players as Regents already 'own' the holdings, but the factions listed above are just who the regents have to deal with? Help?

  2. #2
    Site Moderator Magian's Avatar
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    Before going into contesting everyone in the province I'd advise pause for caution. The reason being is they'd be making enemies of quite a few powerful and already established regents. But there is the example in Cities of the Sun expansion of an adventuring group in Khinasi that did something like that in the realm of Aftane. So it all depends on how they decide they want to go about it. There is plenty of room for them to work together with those regents and find favor with them and perhaps get some aid as any expansion by the Lord of the province is sure to be beneficial to those regents if they are allowed to remain especially if they give that lord aid he is in their debt.

    Contesting the law holding of a guilder that holds the only law in a province is a risk. You can anger the guilder and have a fight on your hands. He likely established that law for stability as charged by the Baroness, since she is much in line with an authority that delegates. Now that you have been apparently delegated as the Lord of the land your claim is the land is owned by you the authority by law. However you can't back that up until you hold sufficient law holding. The guilder is in the way. There are possibilities for roleplay here in the intricacies of politics in the province. Does the Baroness put pressure on the guilder to hand over the law to you? If not, then you are on your own to assert that authority. How do you go about doing that? Through force or diplomacy? If you try diplomacy and it fails, then what? Force? I think a legal way of doing it is through create law holding giving you a zero level law holding. Then contest, which can be seen as legal battles and political battles through various means like swaying the public and providing security and the like. A law holding enforces the law so it is building up a force to police, provide security, preside over disputes, and establish and interpret legal documents. If you are playing with alignments those aspects of what make up the law holding can change relative to the actual alignment. Eventually the end goal for game mechanics for the law holding is to prevent the loyalty from going down as you tax the populace.

    In the same respects of Guild and Temple you have the trade and artisans who make profits from their skills and the religious clergy that essentially make money off of the people's beliefs. There are services offered by both and if the populace is accustomed to their presence, then a forceful removal can cause and uproar. "Who does that new lord think he is? When he was but a pup I was...such and such."

    Studying the rules and then getting a sense as DM what the NPCs do and have for interests helps you out as how to make it feel real for the players. To help them out in roleplay you can simply give them an adviser from the Baroness to guide them as they learn the ropes of lordship. PC says lets knock this bum out of our law slot. Adviser says, ah yes you can do that but there are consequences. If you simply work with him he may hand it over to you. This guilder doesn't like being the law holder as it ties him down. He actually welcomes you as the lord of this province. In fact he's waiting outside seeking an audience to hand it over as we speak.

    Just like in adventure play, domain play has encounters. Just because you see them as numbers in provinces with different aligned slots for law, guild, temple doesn't mean the numbers aren't connected to people or other races that are regents. So opportunities to play things out unfold as you get used to interpreting things like this. Drive around your own town and apply the domain rules to it and see the local supermarket as part of the guild holding, the police station and court house as the law holding, and the churches and temples as the temple holding. Then consider if someone with a private army came in and destroyed them all, asserted himself and his friends as lord, and then how would the people react to this? Even if this new guy was sanctioned by the federal government.

    I hope this helps a little bit.
    One law, One court, One allied people, One coin, and one tax, is what I shall bring to Cerilia.

  3. #3
    I understand that the players have options involved.

    What I do not understand is that, if Andien & Sons controls the Law and Guild holdings and the Oaken Grove the Temple, how do the players gain RP or GB? Wouldn't the income from those holdings go to their owners and not the PC province regent? I guess that their only income would be the Province income itself - a paltry 1 GB and 1 RP.

    Am I reading this correctly? That the province holdings would generate no income for the new PC regent, since the holdings are owned by others?

    If that is the case, the player's move would be to create 0 level holdings of their own and then use the Contest action to fight off the current holding owners?

    Another solution could be to Rule the province and increase it to Level 2, then Create 0 level holdings and Rule them to level 1?

    My questions are less about the RP implications of rule - we can handle that part - but the purely mechanical.

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    Well first a Question to you. Are you using the 3.5 rules from here or the old 2ed ones? Truthfully I have very little experience with the 3.5 ones. (to bulky for my liking)

    But if they create 0 level holding and that's the only one they have, they have no up-keep. And you can add 0 level holding to an area that is all ready "maxed" out. If it's a level 1 providence and the guilders hold level 1 Law and Guild they can still create one. And if they are all getting a domain turn, one can attempt to level the province while another then tries to level the holding they wish. That would be the wisest path for them. However a role-playing way around it would be to use a Diplomacy Action to attempt to get the Baroness to allow them to contest and rule the land.

  5. #5
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoOnesShowMonkey View Post
    I understand that the players have options involved.

    What I do not understand is that, if Andien & Sons controls the Law and Guild holdings and the Oaken Grove the Temple, how do the players gain RP or GB? Wouldn't the income from those holdings go to their owners and not the PC province regent? I guess that their only income would be the Province income itself - a paltry 1 GB and 1 RP.
    Correct, the PC only gains income from their own holdings - although they could agree a vassalage deal with the other domain regents and so receive a share of the income of the other regent.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoOnesShowMonkey View Post
    Am I reading this correctly? That the province holdings would generate no income for the new PC regent, since the holdings are owned by others?
    Well, that depends on the ruleset, but generally it sounds right. some systems, i.e. the RoE ruleset make law holdings a zero-sum game - law holders then 'tax' other regents and claim some of thre other regent's income so in those rulesets things are different.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoOnesShowMonkey View Post
    If that is the case, the player's move would be to create 0 level holdings of their own and then use the Contest action to fight off the current holding owners?
    If they wanted to rule that type of holding yes. If they want to be a ruler only then they'd go for increasing the province size (i.e. encourage immigration, ensure that everyone is on the rolls, etc) and demand vassalage dues from other domain regents.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoOnesShowMonkey View Post
    Another solution could be to Rule the province and increase it to Level 2, then Create 0 level holdings and Rule them to level 1?
    That depends, the original 2e ruleset prohibited the number of regents in any given holding type depending on the size of the province so you'd need to check if 2 level 1 holders was possible first - and of course the incumbent would probably try and rule their holding to L2 as well.

    I wrote most of a PS of Dhoesone a while back, the majority of what I wrote is on the wiki but if you want a soft copy emailed please let me know. Be warned, there is a lot of it and I've been told that the 'important people' section is overly long.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Retillin View Post
    Well first a Question to you. Are you using the 3.5 rules from here or the old 2ed ones?
    We are using a homebrew system based off of the AD&D 2nd Edition Birthright game, adapted to D&D 4th Edition.

    Our version of Cerilia far more closely resembles a historical European context, as such there is no Baroness Fhiele. The previous Baron has recently died, leaving his heir-apparent the new Baron - Clumnis Dhoesone. Clumnis left his county of Romiene for the ducal seat in Sonnelinde and landed one of the PCs in the party, raising him to count and enoffing him with Romiene. The relationship between the current Baron and our PC-regent is quite cool. Our PC-regent is a bastard-son of the pureblooded baron and a possible pretender for the duchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall
    That depends, the original 2e ruleset prohibited the number of regents in any given holding type depending on the size of the province so you'd need to check if 2 level 1 holders was possible first - and of course the incumbent would probably try and rule their holding to L2 as well.
    Since we are using a Homebrew adaptation, I am feeling rather flexible on this issue. I'd probably rule that the limitation for regents applies, but that the Province Holder is exempt from this limit. In effect, a Count can always build holdings in his own province, regardless of whoever currently occupies the county. An extension of this, however, is that if the Count is the sole holding owner, he can still be contested by one other regent.



    The situation right now can be resolved, as far as I can tell it, in the following ways (correct me if I am wrong / suggest others, please):

    1) Build 0 level holdings and Contest the level 1 holdings.
    2) Rule the Province to Level 2 and create level 1 holdings of their own.
    3) Diplomacy to involve the Baron, forcing the current regents to give up their claims.
    4) Diplomacy to negotiate with the current regents.
    5) Diplomacy to combine 3&4 with Vassalage Agreements, securing an income of GB and RP from current holding owners.
    6) War.

    The players have at their disposal the exhausted coffers of Romiene; Clumnis left them with a nearly empty treasury. The only Regency they will gain will be from holding the Province itself, so they gain 1 GB and 1 RP. The party has 1-2 GB worth of liquid assets that they acquired through adventuring previously, some luxuries and silks and the like, that would invest at a 2:1 ratio for building a court. Finally, the group has a favor owed them by the Oaken Grove for having completed a quest on their behalf.

    The PC-regent was also titled to the County's castle, Caer Eventor. I am building a list of province improvements that have static bonuses, including 'Castle'. It is a level 1 fortification, little more than a hilltop fort, but it provides free upkeep for one unit of troops, gives a +1 bonus to Law actions and generates 1 RP.

    In total, the group has maximally 3 GB and 2 RP for their turn.

    We shall see how they proceed.

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    Okay so mostly the 2nd edition rules. I don't have the books on me (at work) but I will check when I get back. However, if you have the Rjurik Highlands book(s) you should look up the vassalage system in those lands. The province RP is sent to the "king" while the law is kept by the local "count" or "baron". But I will try to add more later today.

  8. #8
    I have not seen a sourcebook that lines out the Vassalage Agreements for a given realm. If there are any such books, I'd love to see one that speaks about Dhoesone. I've found a book that covers the Rjurik realms, but nothing for Dhoesone itself.

    After some thought, I think I will go with a Vassalage Agreement that sends Province RP to the Baron and no royal taxation on fiefs. In our game, Clumnis Dhoesone is a grasping, craven man with a bit of an inferiority complex, and one of his first actions will be to levy a realm wide GB tax.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall
    I wrote most of a PS of Dhoesone a while back, the majority of what I wrote is on the wiki but if you want a soft copy emailed please let me know. Be warned, there is a lot of it and I've been told that the 'important people' section is overly long.
    I'd love a soft copy. Even if our version of Dhoesone functions differently than the published material, more source information is better than less.

  9. #9
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    Okay, sorry opened the books here. Now granted feel free to change anything.

    # of Regents controlling a holding is based on the size of the holding.
    Province level 1-3 can only have 1 character holding anything higher than a level 0.
    Province level 4-6 can have up to two.
    This mostly means (that if you are going by this) that they would have to contest and destroy the Law or Guild holdings in order to rule up theirs. My mistake, I thought two could control at that level.

    The way Vassalage seems to work in BR: Using Halskapa as an example.
    The set up; all of the national RP generated is sent to King Bervinig. But each province lord (Jkessen of Helkstraad, Thaenjra of Taelrhud, ect...) keep the Law and/or guild RP they earn each Domain Turn. So using Helkstraad of Halskapa as an example. It is a level 2/3 province. Jkessen controlls 2 law and 1 guild. As Jkessen is a Ranger, he gains no RP from Law and only from his Guild holdings. So the 2 for the province level is sent to King Bervining while the 1 guild RP is kept by Jkessen. This allows Bervining to deal with external threats and Diplomacy/Trade/ect... for the whole realm while Jkessen deals with minor events/ruling the law and guild in Helkstraad. This is the best example I think for where you wish your players to go. If I am wrong please correct me and I'll try to help. Granted the idea of "vassalage" is kept very ambiguous for a reason. (So the PCs can Role Play a way to set what they want)

    Now, as for the lack of RP that it feels your PC's will have there are a few ways around it. You said the Oaken Grove owes your PC's a favour. This could be "returned" as RP to help set up, or in extreme cases contest, holdings for the PC's. Even feel free to hand out Regency as rewards for a quest. If they save town leader, or a village that RP can be the blessings of the population.

    As for the gold/RP sent back and form between Clumnis Dhoesone and your PCs. A question I have for you is, are the PC's one group or many? By this I mean are they all working as a single ruler, or are some working to become just the Law while one or two are opening up Guild holdings and another a Source holding? If there are two or less holdings per "ruler" then they pay no gold in up-keep. It would be very hard to make money being the Law until they make up the level of the Law holding. There for I would say it's best for them to convince Clumnis that Bannier Andien is either taking more money than he/they should or that if the PC's have control of the land/law/guild they would allow Clumins to either make more money orhave less of a headache dealing with the people.

    Again, if I missed anything or I totally did not get the point let me know.

  10. #10
    My player are working together as a group. Their group includes two arcane casters, two fighter types and another to-be-determined. The main character of the campaign is Ser Kael, a bastard son of the late Baron Ector Dhoesone. Ser Kael was recently raised to a Count and enoffed with Romiene. Other players in the party are working with him, and intend on eventually ruling their own holdings.

    After some consideration, I've come up with the following as the Baronial Law and according Vassalage Agreement.

    • Taxation: the crown does not require taxation in kind.
    • Regency: all counties provide the baron with any Regency Points generation from Province Level. Regents may keep RP generated by holdings.
    • Military Service: all counts are required Knight-service equal to their personal retinue plus one unit of troops per three Province Levels to assist the crown during campaign.
    • War between vassals is prohibited without the Baron’s consent.
    • The baron reserves the right to fortification – no castle may be erected or improved without royal permission.
    • The crown delegates all military authority beyond Knight-service to Counts.


    As I do not have anything in the way of clear, published sources, I'll be going with this.

    The players will have at their disposal 2 RP and 3 GB at the start of their first official realm turn.

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